Faculty and Staff


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Dr. David Abbott

Professor - Piano, Music History              Incoming Chair - January 2021
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0483

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Dr. Maureen Balke
Professor - Voice, Diction, Intro to Opera, Honors, FYS
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0471

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Dr. James Ball
Professor - Director of Orchestral & Jazz Activities, Conducting, Evolution of Jazz, Jazz Improvisation
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0256

Dr. Lia Jensen-Abbott
Assistant Professor - Piano, Keyboard Skills, Music Theory
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0698

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Dr. Samuel McIlhagga
Department Chair
Professor - Director of Bands, Instrumental Music Education
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0467

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Dr. Clayton Parr

Professor - Director of Choral Activities, Choral Conducting, Choral Music Education
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0251


Hope Anderson
Department Secretary
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0481

Applied Music Faculty


Dr. David Abbott
Professor - Piano
D.M.A. Eastman School of Music;
M.M. the Juilliard School;
B.M. Eastman School of Music

Dr. Lia Jensen-Abbott
Visiting Assistant Professor - Piano
D.M.A. (piano performance) University of Nebraska-Lincoln;
Performer Diploma from Indiana University;
M.M.and M.A. in (piano and music theory) Pennsylvania State University;
B.M. (piano performance) University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nicholas Laban
Staff Accompanist
M.M. 2013, Western Michigan University
B.A. 2011, Albion College

Elena Solero
M.M. 1984, Bowling Green State University;
B.M. 1982, DePauw University

Jackie Livesay
Applied Instructor - Organ
M.A. in Education, Spring Arbor University;
M.M. University of Michigan;
B.M. Westminster Choir College


Ellen Grafius
Applied Instructor - Harp
B.M.E., 1970, Michigan State University

Anna Khalikova
Applied Instructor - Violin, Viola, String Techniques
D.M.A. in progress, Michigan State University;
M.M. 2017, Michigan State University;
B.M. 2014, Manhattan School of Music

Mark Mathias
Applied Instructor - Double Bass
M.F.A. Eastern Michigan University
B.M. The University of Michigan

Daniel Palmer
Applied Instructor - Guitar, Guitar Ensemble
M.M. 2013, University of Toledo;
B.A. in Music Performance, 2011, Albion College

Dr. Daniel Tressel
Applied Instructor - Cello
D.M.A.- Music Composition, Michigan State University
M.M. Orchestral Career Studies, The University of Nevada, Reno
B.M. Cello Performance, The University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign

Winds and Percussion

Dr. James Ball
Professor - Trombone, Tuba
D.M.A. (orchestral conducting), 1992, Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri - Kansas City;
M.M. (orchestral conducting), 1983, Northwestern University;
M.M. (trombone), 1982, Georgia State University;
B.M., 1974, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Hakeem Davidson
Applied Instructor - Clarinet, Woodwind Teaching and Techniques
D.M.A. in progress, Michigan State University;
M.M. 2017, Michigan State University;
B.M. 2015, University of Texas-Arlington
B.M.E. 2009, McMurry University

Dr. Cynthia Duda
Applied Instructor - Bassoon
D.M.A. Bassoon Performance, Michigan State University
M.M. Music History/Literature, The University of Akron
M.M. Bassoon Performance, Western Michigan University
B.M.E. Music Education, Bowling Green State University

Dr. Matthew Kay
Applied Instructor - Trumpet
D.M.A. 2017 Michigan State University
M.M. 2009, Houghton College
Post Graduate Diploma in Music Performance, 2005, University of Salford
Post Graduate Certificate in Education, 1999, University of Leeds
B.M., 1996, University of Huddersfield

Daniel McDonald
Applied Instructor - Percussion, Drum Set, Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Techniques
M.M. Percussion Performance, The University of Michigan
B.M. in Percussion Performance, Central Michigan University

Dr. Marissa Olin
Applied Instructor - Flute, Flute Ensemble, Woodwind Teaching and Techniques
D.M.A. Michigan State University
M.M. Michigan State University
B.M. Lawrence University Conservatory of Music

James Otto
Applied Instructor - Horn, Brass Teaching and Techniques
M.M. in Brass Winds Performance, University of Michigan;
B.M. in Music Education, University of Michigan

Gabriel Renteria
Applied Instructor - Oboe, Reed-making Class
D.M.A. 2006, Colburn Conservatory;
M.M. 2006, University of Washington;
B.M. Oberlin Conservatory

Eric Zheng
Applied Instructor - Saxophone
M.M. in progress, Saxophone Performance, Michigan State University;
B.M. 2019, Saxophone Performance, Northwestern University
B.A. 2019, Economics, Northwestern University


Dr. Maureen Balke
Professor - Voice
D.M. Indiana University, 1991;
B.A. Marquette University, 1974, B.M. 1978, M.M. 1980

Robert Doyle
Applied Iinstructor - Voice
M.M. candidate in organ and church music, University of Michigan;
M.M. 1992, University of Texas, Austin;
B.M. 1985, Michigan State University
Certified at Level 3 in Somatic Voicework(sm) - The LoVetri Method

Elise Eden
Applied Instructor - Voice
D.M.A. in progress, University of Michigan
M.M. 2018, University of Michigan
B.M. 2016, Oakland University

Music Education

Robert Livingston
Marching Band
M.M. in Wind Conducting 1998, Michigan State University
B.M. 1979, Northern Michigan University

Dr. Samuel McIlhagga
Secondary Instrumental Music Education
Ph.D. in Music, 2006, University of Minnesota;
M.M. in Instrumental Conducting, 1993, Northwestern University;
B.M.E. 1992, Grand Valley State University

Dr. Clayton Parr
Secondary Choral Music Education
D.M.A. in Choral Conducting, 1990, Michigan State University;
M.M. in Voice Performance, 1989, Michigan State University;
M.M. in Choral Conducting, 1987, Michigan State University;
B.A. 1980, Albion College

Stacey Root
Elementary Music Education
M.A. in Music Education, 2010, Michigan State University
B.A. in Music Education, 2002, Michigan State University